Low-Impact Aerobics Workout AND What Is Cardio?

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How’s everybody doing?! This has been such a difficult and surreal time, hasn’t it? Since you’re here reading this, I’m assuming you’re healthy and hanging in there, I’m so glad. Now more than ever, we need to be amping up our fitness and giving our immune systems the boost they need. For the past month, I’ve been publishing weekly follow-along workout videos. Each workout has focused on something different, and THIS week, it’s all about CARDIO AEROBICS TRAINING:


What is Cardio Training?

I know you’ve all heard you need to do cardio exercise for your heart health, but I’d guess many of you don’t quite know what that means, so let’s clear a few things up. We tend to think of cardio exercise as steady-state things like jogging or riding a bike. Well, yes, okay. But cardio training is more than that. It’s really any type of activity or exercise that improves the function of your heart, lungs, and circulatory system. It also has to involve both raising your heart rate and your breathing rate. So it’s more than just the steady-state stuff. High intensity short bursts will also improve your cardio fitness.

TO BE CLEAR: Leisurely Walking Isn’t Cardio Training.

UNLESS you’re de-conditioned or with limited mobility, going out for a stroll is not cardio training. Sure, it’s cardiovascular in general, BUT! It’s not going to get your heart rate and your breathing up enough to invoke any sort of training response. Now, if you’re going to amp that walk up to a power-walk that includes hills, sweat, and difficulty talking, THEN we’re getting into some cardio training. People get this wrong regularly and the whole “10,000 steps” thing hasn’t helped. Watching your steps is great for getting general movement in your day, but it’s only the steps where you were breathing heavy that have any impact on building your cardio fitness and improving your heart’s ability to pump more efficiently.  Your steps to the toilet, the kitchen, the mailbox… don’t cut it.  Sorry.

Aerobic and Anaerobic Training are BOTH Cardio Training.

This is another part that gets confusing, so let me clarify. Think of yourself as having two engines: one is aerobic — which needs oxygen to run, and the other is anaerobic — which doesn’t need oxygen. Both engines are always chugging, but depending on how hard and for how long you’re going, one will always be working harder than the other. Our aerobic engine is great for fueling our lower-intensity activities, like power-walking, jogging, or anything we can handle doing for 20 minutes or more. Our anaerobic system is for fast and super-intense activities, like jumping up and down as high as you can for 30 seconds. Loads of research over the last few decades show that aerobic and anaerobic workouts both will improve cardiovascular function, which means both qualify as “cardio” exercise. The video above is an example of an “aerobics” style of cardio training. One more important fitness-nerd thought then I’ll let you go do the workout:

Why Do I Need Cardio Training?

Let’s apply that engine analogy to your muscles now.  Think of your muscles like engines that run on fuel, only your muscles use fat and carbohydrates as their fuel source instead of gasoline. Oxygen is also required in the fueling process because once it gets in the muscle, it is used to burn fat and carbs to keep our muscles going. So, when we do cardio exercise, we’re training our hearts to pump more efficiently and we’re training our muscles to get really good at consuming oxygen. The more our muscles can efficiently burn fuel, the more fit we are.


…and Finally. Back to the Workout Video:

This 35-minute cardio aerobics workout is WAYYY better for your cardio training than going out walking, and yep, even better than power-walking. I created it with both beginners and active seniors in mind, but really anyone who’s stuck inside and wants to break a sweat can benefit. Remember, when choosing your exercises for the week, do keep in mind what I’ve shared here today.  It only counts if you get your heart rate up, if you’re breathing heavy, and if you break a sweat.  Anything less isn’t going to initiate any sort of training response to build your cardio fitness. Give this workout a try and when you’re done, compare its intensity to a 30 minute walk. You’ll feel the difference and know exactly what I mean.


So there you go! An awesome cardio workout AND some fitness knowledge… just what the trainer ordered!

Comments and questions below are always welcomed. Hang in there, friends! We will get through this. I’ll see ya next week! xo



Trainer Stef


Missed last week’s resistance band full-body workout? CLICK HERE!

And try my very favorite coordination workout: CLICK HERE!

After 15 years as an educator in both the public K-12 setting and the University level in Special Physical Education, Stef made the leap to her true passion… the fitness world. She’s currently a personal trainer and wellness coach specializing in seniors, medical conditions, and injuries. Stef loves running, cycling, and being “Mugga” to her two favorite mini-humans — Punky and Marshmallow. ❤️

    23 thoughts on “Low-Impact Aerobics Workout AND What Is Cardio?

    1. Margaret

      This was great, thank you. I don’t have the stamina yet to complete the full routine, but it’s something to work toward.

    2. Betty

      I am glad I found your video for senior low-impact cardio! I exercise with it frequently. I wish you would do more of these type videos! Thank you.

      1. Stefany - Post author

        That’s so great, Betty! Glad you’re getting use out of it. I do need to do some more cardio vids, you’re right! I’ll bump it up my list. Be well and keep exercising! xo

    3. Sandie DeLorenzo

      I am new to your workout videos and am enjoying them very much. You are a bright and enthusiastic star. I love your presentation and your creativity.

      I am a person with significant arthritis and I need senior workouts solely for the “low impactness” of them. My question… My fitness level would love to see an “advanced version” of the videos you post. Perhaps more exercise and less explanations so that the whole workout flows from one workout to another without the explanation/exploration pieces. Have you considered this? I think a similar video with “advanced” instead of “beginner” would have an audience?? Thoughts? Thank you for considering it.

    4. Millie Dappollone

      Hi Stefany,

      Did your bands video this morning, and then went and checked out all your other videos for heart, coordination and senior cardio. All look wonderful and will do them from now on. Thank you!

      1. Stefany - Post author

        Hi Millie! I’m so glad you liked the workouts! It’s easier to find the motivation to exercise when we like what we’re doing, so hopefully my workouts will continue to have that positive effect for you! Be well, and I’m rooting for you! xo

      1. Jill

        I would like to know where to purchase or download workout videos. I enjoyed viewing on youtube, but the streaming locks up; hard to keep up. My husband and I need your videos since we are locked out of our gyms.
        Thanks, Jill

      1. Stefany - Post author

        I love the Bodylastics brand resistance bands but they’ve been unavailable for months now, so I’ll share another similar option in the link below. I very much prefer bands where the handles detach, it gives loads more exercise options that way. I also recommend getting a kit that includes both ankle attachments AND a door mount so you can turn your bands into pretty much a cable machine you’d find at a gym. Here’s the link!


    5. Lori

      Hello Stefany. Thank you so much for these wonderful workout videos. I added them to my daily walks and always feel great afterwards. Looking forward to your next one.

      1. Stefany - Post author

        That’s awesome you’re walking and doing workout videos… double workouts a day, way to go. I’m so glad to hear you like the workouts! Thanks for swinging by and letting me know, it really does mean a lot. Be well! xo

    6. Bonnie McAfee

      Hi Stef and Hi James. My husband and I just finished Stef’s workout. Thank you so much. We loved it and got our heart rates up. Been a follower for a few years. In fact got a sea eagle kayak because of you, and have enjoyed it so much, especially up in Canada last year. Thanks again., Bonnie

      1. Stefany - Post author

        I’m so glad you liked it, Bonnie! I especially love that you did the work out together, that makes me so happy to hear. Wishing you health and happiness during this challenging time! ❤️

    7. Rosemary Gregory

      Thanks, Stef, so much! I love your workouts…not only have I used them on the road but really appreciate having alternatives to my neighborhood walks while we’re home sheltering in place!!

      Stay safe & healthy!

    8. Shaun Simpkins

      Oh, fudge. 6000 dog walking steps doesn’t count. How about 14 bike miles in an hour? Wait, that doesn’t count towards the 10,000 steps. I’ll never get cardio.


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